What’s happening?

by Kasia Z on 19/11/2014

in Whip-Up


I’m exploring backstage at Whipup…

I’m wandering about and wondering what all these buttons and switches and levers do.  How the heck do I get this to go up or that to come down, why is this light flashing, what’s that persistent buzz in the background?  I’m checking out all the props and costumes too, the gorgeous fabrics, the shiny objects. I’m going back through the old scripts and reading the reviews, the lists of players, directors and producers who have performed in this space.  I feel like I’m wandering around a beautiful big theatre – it’s a bit dark, a bit dusty but full of recent glory and future promise.

Well it feels like that’s what I’m doing…  The theatrical metaphor feels quite appropriate as I stumble around here – there’s no doubt I have some stage-fright butterflies fluttering about me, but I’m also a bit dazzled by the magic, stage struck.

In reality I’m working out how to drive a website. Thankfully I have some very able instructors, techs and talent to assist me with all this. It’s pretty great when after stumbling about and bumping into things a light comes on and illuminates the space around us. Phew. Not alone.

SO HANG IN THERE EVERYONE – regular service will begin soon!

In the meantime I’m also doing a lot of reading – past posts by Kathreen and the extraordinary cast of contributors, guest bloggers and editors Kathreen invited along for the show. It’s a very relaxing and pleasant thing to do after wrestling with the nuts and bolts of backstage paraphernalia.

Most of the time when I’m working and reading, along with the sound of my internal voice there’s an accompanying imagined space.  When I’m working on the website it can really feel like backstage in the wings and fly-tower of a theatre.  Or sometimes it’s a vast but cluttered textile factory surrounded by paper patterns and sewing machines, cutting tables and bolts of fabric in 60s paisley or 80s taffeta.

When I’m reading Kathreen’s posts, for example, I imagine her chatting to me or typing about her day. I hear her voice and I see her home – her home and her voice as I imagine them since I never had the opportunity to meet or visit her in Canberra.

It’s an impression, not a complete image. There’s a lot of colour and movement – broad Fauvist brushstrokes. There’s deep red and rich chocolate, warm wooden surfaces, sunshine through doors and windows and deep shade in the corners. There are pops of bright colour here and there – blue and green crocheted grannie squares, piles of patterned fat quarters and quilts in progress, a red pot on the stove top. There are aromas too – from that stove-top stew, flowers and grass clippings on the air from the garden. Sounds of the kids laughing and screeching and their running feet pounding as they come in one door and out another. It’s a homemade dreamscape, but it’s how her writing feels to me. Even when she’s tired or frustrated or cranky about housekeeping or parenting (and how I empathize with those posts) she writes from a warm and comfortable place, in the present.

Do you do this?  Do you imagine a space around the words you read, like a stage set for a play?  And when you read something from someone who is no longer here, do they come back to you – in bright colour, present in the moment you read their thoughts?

I think I’ll be rereading Kathreen’s posts over and over again to be back in her company in the present, in that special place.

shirt montage 1

By the way, the images in this post are a montage of phone snaps (by my friend Klarissa Pfisterer) of the Phillips Shirt factory in Melbourne when it was open for Open House Melbourne sometime ago.

If any of you are in Melbourne from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 November 2014, and fancy some vintage rummaging to add to your stash – you know, for Christmas… or something – Phillips will be open for a giant sale of vintage as new fabric from the last few decades and ‘dead stock’ shirts and dresses. Check out Phillips Facebook page for more details.

I’ll be going for the experience, to feel the space… OK maybe I’ll just have a quick look at the vintage goodies too.


Flower girl peek

Well I’m glad you asked.

My name is Kasia.

Kasia rhymes with Russia, but it’s Polish – the diminutive for Katarzyna, which is the Polish version of Katherine. Also, I’m not Polish, I’m Australian with Polish heritage. And I’m sure I’ll say more on that in some blogging future.

I have loved, loitered and lurked around Whipup since 2006 – soon after Kathreen Ricketson created it.  At the time I was home on maternity leave and desperate for something to amuse me while breastfeeding – apart from gazing besotted at that new cute weird little person in my arms.  It was then that I found CRAFT BLOGS.

Oh my. Oh my, oh my. No idea how or where I started but I was hooked and happy. Somewhere along the way I found Whipup and yes, I was in love.

Zip ahead some years…

I’m picking up my son from a school friend’s house, a friend he’d known since he was a toddler in childcare. The boys are playing dinosaurs in the backyard, screaming and roaring, tearing each other to shreds. I’m chatting with the dad, drinking a glass of wine in the kitchen, as you do.  Yadda yadda, school; screen time; I love craft blogs; my sister has a craft blog…

WAIT…  Are you that Jon Ricketson? You mean Kathreen Ricketson’s brother?

O. M. G.

Some more zipping forward…

A horrible heart-wrenching moment in May 2013 when the unthinkable happened… Kathreen and her husband Rob lost their lives in a drowning accident. It happened on a beautiful coral reef, on a dream family holiday, 4wheel-driving and camping around Australia. This is not supposed to happen. For Kathreen and Rob’s family and friends, their world was upside down. The craft blog world too was shocked, incredulous and mourning the loss of a beloved international craft icon.

Months later, I’m chatting in the kitchen with Jon, drinking a glass of wine – hard to believe there’s a time when you’ll be doing this again but you do. The boys are being dinosaurs, egged on by Jon’s nephew. Jon’s niece comes in and out of the kitchen. I’m admiring the recent reconfiguring of their home to accommodate the new family members.  Yadda yadda, house; renovation; school; screen time; I occasionally write a crazy little craft blog; would you be interested in taking on Whipup…


O. M. G.

Well time’s zipped on again and here we are.  Jon and his family – bigger and even livelier with the addition of Kathreen and Rob’s two gorgeous children – are away on an adventure to the US while he works in Silicon Valley for a couple of years.

And I, after much thinking, musing, stalling, consulting, wondering and chocolate-eating have jumped in the deep end of the blogospherical pool.

I’ve taken the Whipup baton from Jon, and the wonderful Jules and Kate, and now it’s my turn to run with it. I’ll do my best, even though I’m not a good runner. My style needs work, I’m not an elite athlete – hey, I’ll probably trip a few times. But I’ll keep working at it.

Stick around. Give a cheer, laugh out loud, shout some supportive words – and take the baton now and then.  Send an email to whipup[at]gmail.com with a link to a recent craft site you’ve seen that you would have like to share. Let’s run this blog together and have a great time. Kathreen would love us to.

She’s probably checking in already and wondering where we are! Hop to it!



And we’re back!

by Kasia Z on 13/10/2014

in Whip-Up


It’s a sunny spring day in Melbourne and we’re whipping up some new things to chat about.




You might have noticed that we disappeared for a week or two. Whipup.net was hacked, and it took us a while to access our data. I’m so relieved that most of our content is back online, and we will be restoring the most recent posts as soon as we can.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the people who helped to get Whipup back online. We have lost so much this past year, and the idea that Whipup might have finished suddenly was too much to comprehend.

Thanks for your patience and support. xx Kate


We are continuing to celebrate alongside the Stash Books Legacy Blog Tour for Brave New Quilts by Whipup founder Kathreen Ricketson.

Today’s post is by Sonya Philip, who writes about her connection with Kathreen and her work and thoughts.

We are left with traces in paper and online. The world is richer for having Kathreen in it. She spoke her creativity. We were lucky to listen.


We will be following each post on the Legacy Tour as some of Kathreen’s friends and admirers share their thoughts over the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday 10/8 : Ellen Luckett Baker
Wednesday 10/9 : Andrea Jenkins
Thursday 10/10 : Shannon Cook
Friday 10/11 : Mimi Kirchner
Monday 10/14 : Cheryl Arkison

Whipup is also proud to be featuring some guest posts from crafters who knew and admired the work of Kathreen.


You can keep track of the Legacy Tour by following the hashtag #LegacyTour on social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.